Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
It’s hip to be green, maybe because stars like Leonardo diCaprio and Al Gore are helping bring awareness and the desire to do better to the public. Or perhaps it is because it is becoming more difficult to ignore that people are becoming a burden on the planet. Whatever the reason, more and more people are taking notice of the environmental movement and making buying decisions based on a company’s green practices.
How can you take advantage of this popular movement to grow your business?
Many businesses at first fear that “going green” will cost money they just don’t have. But, in most cases, just the opposite is true.
The environmental movement is all about conserving resources, not buying new stuff. When you do buy new stuff, make sure to take the environmental impact into consideration, but do not toss everything you use now into a landfill. That would be counterproductive!
You are probably already using many green principles in your small business. For example, controlling your costs leads to many “green” practices. You buy less and use what you do buy more efficiently. That’s just good business sense!
And, many green practices are easy to incorporate into your business, as well as being more cost effective. Switch to an electronic newsletter instead of sending paper copies. Use recycled packing materials for shipping. Reduce your energy consumption.
(For more green ideas you may already be doing or can easily add to your practices, read my article Ten Tips for Going Green.)
Today a growing number of customers are choosing to do business with green companies. Those companies who are doing their part to reduce waste, conserve energy and other natural resources, and take responsibility for their impact on the environment are getting more business. Make sure your prospects know that your business is one of those.
Take some time and make a list of your green practices to share with your customers and prospects. If your goods, products and services are created locally, sustainable or renewable, let everyone know that. Use your website, press releases and articles to let everyone know about your green policies. You can even include tips for your customers on how they can be “greener”.
And, when you are looking for promotional opportunities, consider green promotions, such as hosting a tree-planting day in your city, promoting recycling by writing a free booklet on how to recycle various items, or even talking to civic groups about being greener. All those activities will help get you and your business in front of potential customers as well as helping educate more people on an important and timely topic.
If you need to know more about environmental issues, I recommend these resources: